Health Care

While Billionaries Cash In On Tax Cuts: Insulin’s High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing

By Bram Sable-Smith Saturday Weekend Edition / NPR (9/1/18) Diabetic ketoacidosis is a terrible way to die. It’s what happens when you don’t have enough insulin. Your blood sugar gets so high that your blood becomes highly acidic, your cells dehydrate and your body stops functioning. Diabetic ketoacidosis is how Nicole Smith-Holt lost her son. Three days before his payday. Because he couldn’t afford his insulin. “It shouldn’t have happened,” Smith-Holt says looking down at her son’s death certificate on her dining room table in Richfield, Minn. “That cause of death of diabetic ketoacidosis should have never happened.” The price…

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Preparing For Post-Roe America: Roe v. Wade Will Fall. We Must Be Ready For It

  By Robin Marty, Farah Diaz-Tello & Loretta J. Ross In These Times (8/27/18) WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, the remaining abortion protections put in place by the Roe v. Wade decision are under dire threat. We asked three reproductive justice experts—journalist and activist Robin Marty, attorney Farah Diaz-Tello and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective co-founder Loretta J. Ross—to explain this new political reality and how we should respond. The three short essays making up the article include: BACK TO THE UNDERGROUND — Within a few years,…


Health Care: The Cost — And Savings — Of Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare For All’ Plan

  On Point / WBUR (8/2/18) Did a conservative think tank just give Bernie Sanders the evidence for his “Medicare for All” plan? We’ll ask them and Sanders. Guests Dylan Scott, heath care policy reporter for Vox. (@dylanlscott) Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent senator from Vermont. Introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017. (@SenSanders) Charles Blahous, senior research strategist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Former senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush. Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, reporter at Kaiser Health News. (@caheredia21) Link to 47-Minute Audio Vox: “Bernie Sanders’s $32 trillion Medicare-for-all plan is actually kind of a bargain”…


Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You & Your Family — Which Could Raise Your Rates

  By Marshall Allen ProPublica/ NPR (7/17/18) To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling. A handful of companies pitching “lifestyle” data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like “social determinants of health.” But dig deeper and the implications of what they’re selling might give many patients pause: A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance. With little public scrutiny, the health insurance industry has…


In The Corporate ‘Go F-Yourself’ Health Care System, “GoFundMe’ Is Only Hope For Many Families

  By Mark Zdechlik MPR (7/2/18) Tammy Fox wanted to help after a friend took ill with a rare and difficult-to-diagnosis autoimmune disorder that required many trips to the Mayo Clinic. While she couldn’t do anything medically, Fox knew there was a way to ease some of the burden of medical bills and costs associated with doctor visits. She turned to the internet website GoFundMe. “You’ve got meals, you’ve got hotel stays and, like I said, gas so that all needed to be covered,” said Fox, who lives in suburban Minneapolis. A Commonwealth Fund survey found that nearly half of working-age…


CRISIS: National Surge In Foster Children Amid Opioid Crisis & Slashed Human Services Budgets

  By Jane Clayson On Point /WBUR (7/2/18) We have heard story after story the last few years about the lives ruined or lost because of the opioid epidemic.  But here’s another real-world impact you might not have noticed:  More addicted adults means more kids entering the foster care system.  Child care agencies and foster families have always had their hands full.  Throw in painkillers, heroin, fentanyl, and they are now swamped.  This hour, On Point: opioid epidemic and the crisis in foster care. What happens when opioids ravage the lives of mothers and fathers? More foster children who need homes…


Spreading ‘Like Wildfire’: Majority Of Americans—Including 74% Of Democrats—Now Support Single-Payer

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (4/12/18) “Five years ago, could you have believed that half of Americans would agree we need a single-payer healthcare system?” That’s how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—a longtime advocate of guaranteeing healthcare for all Americans—responded to a new poll that found that 74 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of all adults surveyed support implementing a single-payerhealthcare system in the United States. “When people see the justice of an idea, it spreads like wildfire,” Sanders tweeted Thursday morning. “The American people know that healthcare should be a right.” The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll asked: “Do you support or oppose having a…


If You Want To Kill Dangerous Drug Dealers, Start With Big Pharma

By Domenica Ghanem OtherWords (4/4/18) At a recent rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump called for the death penalty for drug traffickers as part of a plan to combat the opioid epidemic in the United States. At a Pennsylvania rally a few weeks earlier, he called for the same. Now his administration is taking steps toward making this proposal a reality. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on March 21 asking prosecutors to pursue capital punishment for drug traffickers — a power he has thanks to legislation passed under President Bill Clinton. Time and again, these punitive policies have proven ineffective…


Don’t Believe There Isn’t Money Enough For Health Care: The U.S. Is Spending $32 Million Per Hour On War

  Peace Science Digest Context: Ever since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the War On Terror has cost the U.S. $5.6 trillion. Almost all of this price tag is financed through borrowed money, significantly increasing the national debt. In The News: “It’s a good time to reflect on what this war — the longest in U.S. history — has cost Americans and others around the world. First, the economic costs: According to estimates by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the war on terror has cost Americans a staggering $5.6 trillion since 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan….


Local Group Urges Rep. Kind To Take Direct Action To Strengthen Our Families By Supporting Medicare For All

  By Evan Dvorsack The La Crosse Tribune (2/18/18) There was a consensus among the crowd at Congressman Kind’s listening session last week [2/12] in La Crosse: The U.S. health care system needs radical change, and a Medicare for All system, as proposed in HR 676 “The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” is the best way forward. Even Rep. Kind admitted “it’s an aspiration I share,” but he expressed some concerns about the bill. I will address those concerns below. But first, what is Medicare for All, as laid out in HR 676? Medicare for All (also known…


Jump In Overdoses Shows Opioid Epidemic Has Worsened, Especially In Wisconsin

By Rob Stein All Things Considered/NPR (3/6/18) There’s more bad news about the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic. In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall increase in opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017 occurred across the nation. Some parts of the country experienced far greater increases, while a few have reported declines, the analysis shows. “We have an emergency on our hands,” says acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat. “The fast-moving opioid overdose…


Why Are Democratic Party Thinktanks Still All Squishy On Universal Healthcare For All?

    By Adam Gaffney The Guardian (2/25/18) On Thursday, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic party-affiliated think tank, launched a proposal confusingly called “Medicare Extra for All”. For proponents of a Bernie Sanders-style single-payer “Medicare for All”, this might seem like a positive development. Well, yes and no. On the one hand, “Medicare Extra” is a step to the left for CAP, suggesting that the Democratic establishment is following the lead of its galvanized base. On the other hand, this new proposal would exact sacrifices from patients to placate the insurance industry, and could serve to divert…


Report Details The Crushing Cost Of Childbirth In The United States, Unheard Of In Most Industrialized Countries

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (1/16/18) A report published on Tuesday in the Guardian highlights the exorbitant costs associated with childbirth in the United States—often catching families by surprise and leaving them thousands of dollars in debt to hospitals—and underscores the world of difference between maternal care in the U.S. and other industrialized nations with universal healthcare. A study by the advocacy group Childbirth Connection found that while costs vary by state and hospital, the average price tag for a vaginal delivery with no complications, including care for a newborn directly after birth, is $32,093 in the U.S. A caesarean section costs more than…


The Humane & Affordable Luxury Of Socialized Medicine

  By Megan Day Jacobin Magazine The standard case for a single-payer health insurance system is pretty well known. Anyone can get care without courting financial ruin. Monumental personal decisions, like when to have a child or whether to leave or take a job, no longer hinge on the whims of an employer or the dysfunctions of the private insurance market. Surprise hospital bills, endless phone calls with insurance companies, juggling premiums, copays, and deductibles — all will be things of the past. The case against single-payer often boils down to a single word: rationing. When critics peddle scare stories about Canadian or…


Who Profits Off The Opioid Crisis? Meet The Secretive Sackler Family Making Billions From OxyContin Deaths

Democracy Now! (10/19/17) This week, President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressmember Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes investigation found he led a drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that weakened the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on addictive opioids. Meanwhile, calls are growing to look at the major pharmaceutical companies that have fueled the opioid crisis. A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength….


American Capitalism: One-Third Of Americans Can’t Afford Food, Housing Or Health Care

By Alexandra Jacobo Nation of Change (10/12/17) Almost half of Americans struggle to pay there bills, and an astounding one-third of them are at risk of running out of food, not being able to afford a place to live, or not having enough money for health care or medical treatment. In a new survey of financial well-being released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, numbers reflect the diminishing median net worth of an American family, as well as the daily struggles families have with being able to pay for basic living expenses. According to the report: “There is a wide variation in how…


Medicare For All: An Unalienable Right — Not A Privilege!

Medicare For All is freedom from the tyranny and abuse of the health insurance monopolies. Call Rep. Ron Kind (202) 225-5506 Tell Ron you expect him to support our freedom and security by signing on as a cosponsor of HR 676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (10/2/17) Freedom in a free society, is freedom for all. Everyone’s freedom, to be who and where one wants to be, depends upon having good health. Poor health can deprive a person of all sorts of their God-given freedoms. Medicare For All secures the freedoms that come…


Con Job: Bipartisan Congress Lavishes Military Contractors With $700bn While Whining That Healthcare For Your Family Is A Luxury We Can’t Afford

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (9/20/17) When Bernie Sanders released his much anticipated healthcare plan last week, countless pundits and members of Congress asked why the government should pass such a bill given its potential cost. Now that Congress on the verge of sending a record-setting $700bn Pentagon spending bill to Trump’s desk, you can bet those deficit scolds will be nowhere to be found. [Editor’s Note: When black operations, veterans programs and intel operations are taken into account, the US actually spends more than $1 trillion on war each year. – Mark L. Taylor] On Monday evening, the Senate passed – in…


As Bernie Prepared Medicare Bill, Insurance Lobbyists Shoveled Cash To Quisling Senate Democrats

  By David Sirota & Lydia O’Neal Nation of Change (9/20/17) As Bernie Sanders worked to finalize his Medicare-for-All Act of 2017, corporate lobbyists representing the traditional opponents of single-payer health care – including the nation’s major private insurers and drug companies – poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Senate Democrats’ fundraising accounts. Now, many of those lawmakers have refused to sign on to the Medicare bill. Sanders has faced questions about whether or not the bill would garner solid support among Senate Democrats. So far, 16 Senate Democrats have said they will sponsor the legislation – which the insurance industry slammed after he announced it. A new study from campaign…


‘Medicare for all’ Would Be A Lot Cheaper Than You Might Think

  By Gerald Friedman The Conversation (9/19 Public support for single-payer health care has been rising in recent months amid failed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That’s perhaps why Sen. Bernie Sanders on September 13 introduced a new version of his single-payer plan with the support of 16 Democratic colleagues, a sharp rise from 2013 when none signed on to a similar proposal. It would not only expand Medicare to all Americans but make it more comprehensive by covering more services like mental health, dental care and vision, all without copayments or deductibles. But Sanders’s plan would come at a steep price: likely more than…


Daily Dose: What Is Healthcare Really About? It’s About Freedom Over Fear

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (9/19/17) Take a look at every email you get from your Democratic representatives about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act. More importantly, look beyond the issue, beyond the fundraising “ask”, and look at the words and ideas. Here’s an example at one I received recently – they all use the same language: “ALERT: MILLIONS will lose coverage… I’ll put it bluntly: Senate Republicans are CLOSER than ever before to repealing the Affordable Care Act.  The newest plan — supported by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — would leave millions of Americans without…


Want Affordble, Universal Health Care? Then Change The Debate & Redefine Solution

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (8/26/17) One of my heroes, Paul Wellstone, used to say: “In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.” Imagine a country where you go to the doctor, he treats you, and the bill gets paid for by your tax dollars. We can create that world if we lead! It is time to stop worrying about labels. It…


Colorado GOP Senator Drowned Out By Cheers For ‘Single Payer’ At Town Hall

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/16/17) When Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) took the stage at a scheduled town hall on Tuesday in Greeley, Colorado, he apparently didn’t expect to be confronted by a crowd full of enthusiastic supporters of single-payer healthcare. Angry with his support for legislation that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would strip healthcare from more than 20 million American, Coloradans greeted Gardner with jeers as he arrived at the event. At one point during the discussion, Gardner asked how many in the audience supported single-payer healthcare. An “overwhelming majority in the high school auditorium raised their hands,” reports Colorado…


Litmus Test: Medicare For All Supporters Demanding Dems To ‘Make Your Stand’

Time’s up, Dems! By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/8/17) As popular support for single-payer continues to grow and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) prepares to introduce Medicare for All legislation, the Establishment wing of the Democratic Party is reportedly “alarmed” by the shifting dynamics and fearful “of primary election challenges” if they don’t support Sanders’s proposal. “Democrats who don’t get behind it could find themselves on the wrong side of the most energetic wing of the party,” Politico reported Monday. Political organizers and supporters of Sanders are already speaking out about how lawmakers’ responses could impact upcoming elections. “Any Democrat worth their salt that doesn’t unequivocally…


It’s Time For The Compassionate Adults In This Nation To Talk Seriously About Medicare For All

A system designed to fail. By Dr. Carol Paris Common Dreams (7/28/17) Hundreds of people slept overnight in cars, or camped for days in a field. They told storiesof yanking out their own teeth with pliers, of reusing insulin syringes until they broke in their arm, of chronic pain so debilitating they could hardly care for their own children. At daybreak, they lined up for several more hours outside a white tent, waiting for their chance to visit a doctor. For many, this was the first health care provider they’ve seen in years. Is this a place torn by war, famine…


Connecting McCain’s Tragic Diagnosis To Trumpcare Isn’t Opportunism, It ‘Is the Goddamn Point’

By Jon Queally Common Dreams (7/23/17) “It isn’t in poor taste, and it isn’t political opportunism—it’s the goddamn point.” That’s what Jon Pavlovitz, a pastor from North Carolina, writes regarding the importance of talking about the recently-announced cancer diagnosis of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)—which he calls “tragic” and “horrific”—in the midst of a raging national debate over healthcare. On Thursday, McCain’s doctors confirmed the 80-year-old senator and former presidential nominee had been diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant form of brain cancer. In the wake of the news there was an outpouring of support and well-wishes from across the political spectrum aimed…


While The Uninsured Suffer & Die: 70 Top Healthcare CEOs Raked In $9.8 Billion Since 2010

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/24/17) While the Senate GOP’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been denounced as potentially devastating to the poor, the sick, women, people of color, children, and those with pre-existing conditions, a new analysis published Monday finds that no matter what happens, the CEOs of large healthcare companies are likely to continue living lavishly. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, the “CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. healthcare companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion,” according to a report by Axios‘s Bob Herman. “The median household income in 2015 was $56,515, which the average healthcare CEO…


Pony Up, Suckers: While Millions Go Without Basic Health Care, Taxpayers Pick Up The Tab For Trump Family Greed

By Brooke Seipel The Hill (4/14/17) The Secret Service has spent more than $35,000 on golf cart rentals at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort since his inauguration, CBS News reported Friday, as Trump begins another weekend in Florida. CBS News reported that it had reviewed purchase orders showing $35,185 in costs for renting golf carts during Trump’s frequent visits to Palm Beach, Fla. The president has played several rounds of golf at Trump-branded clubs, including in Florida and Virginia. Trump has come under fire for his frequent trips, which current estimates show have cost more than $20 million — nearly the amount President Obama spent on travel in…


Al Gore Breaks With Democratic Party Leadership To Support Single-Payer Healthcare

By Eleanor Sheehan Fusion (7/18/17) A day after the Republican party’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act crumbled, Al Gore spoke at a community college in Manhattan, NY, about his new climate change movie. Completely unrelated to the documentary, however, Gore expressed his support for a single-payer healthcare system. The Huffington Post first reported Gore’s comments during Tuesday’s event. Breaking with ranking Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Gore told the audience that private health insurance has failed to provide accessible coverage for all Americans. “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide…


Terminal Diagnosis: How US Healthcare Wound Up So Costly, Unfair, Inefficient, Ineffective & Deadly

  By Ray Suarez On Point (7/6/17) The most expensive, least efficient health care model in the developed world is ours. How did we get here? During debates over health care it was often said the U.S. has the best health care system in the world. But Americans are sicker, die younger, and pay more for care than their peers in other wealthy nations. There’s still an intense battle over the future of insurance. How did we get here? This hour On Point: The road Americans took to an expensive and inefficient system. Is it too late to change course? Guests…


Upstart Independent Progressive Publishing House Takes On Trump’s Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price

  By Ryan Grim Action Network (6/27/17) You may remember a few months ago I said that I was co-founding an independent progressive publishing house, called Strong Arm Press. Well today we’re publishing our first book, Out of the Ooze: The Story of Dr. Tom Price, written by the great Alexander Zaitchik, who is the author of a terrific and brutal biography of Glenn Beck that you may have read a few years ago. [Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance.] We’re going to try to drive Out of the Ooze up to number one on the Amazon charts…


Urging Democrats To Go Bold, Warren Says ‘The Next Step Is Single Payer’

The Clock Is Running Out, Dems Time To Go Bold For All American Families By Julia Conley Common Dreams (6/27/17) Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling on Democrats to embrace a single-payer healthcare system in order to win back Congress and the White House in upcoming elections. Warren argued that simply blocking the Republican rollback of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, is not enough to distinguish Democrats from their GOP counterparts in the minds of voters. “President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage,” Warren said, “by using a conservative model…


Killing Off Single Payer Effort By Dem Party Pols In California Is A Cautionary Tale For Progressives

  By Jim Kavanagh CounterPunch (6/27/17) Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party—for all progressive intents and purposes—than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on Friday [6/23] afternoon that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year. The Democratic Party finds itself in a bind in California. They hold the governorship and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, so they can pass any bill they want. SB 562 had passed the Senate 23-14. There was…


Republican Trumpcare Bill Is Only About Massive Tax Breaks For The Wealthy

Elizabeth Warren Says Key Thing to Know About Trumpcare Bill: ‘This Is Blood Money’ Common Dreams (6/23/17) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has now read the Republican bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and says that it contains “one flashing neon light after another” that signals who this piece of legislation is designed to serve: the very rich and the very powerful. “This is blood money,” the senator said both on the floor of the Senate on Thursday and in a video posted to social media. “They’re paying for tax cuts with American lives.” “Make no mistake:…


From Now On, Single Payer Health Care Must Be A Deal Breaking Litmus Test For Democrats

By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (6/18/17) I am so tired of hearing people say they don’t support litmus tests. If you can’t judge candidates by their positions on issues, then how do you know who to vote for? Too many people supported George W. Bush because he was a “good Christian man.” George Will is a great guy at a baseball game, but I disagree with him on the issues, and it is those disagreements that will cause me to not vote for him. Healthcare is important to me, and if a candidate does not support single payer healthcare,…


Worst Epidemic In U.S. History? Opioid Crisis Now Leading Cause Of Death For Americans Under 50

  Democracy Now! (6/7/17) Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. To put the death toll into perspective, opioid deaths have now surpassed the peak in death by car crash in 1972, AIDS deaths in 1995 and gun deaths in 1993. After 20 years of heavy combat in South Vietnam, U.S. military casualties represented only one-third of the death toll from 10 years of opioid overdoses. Meanwhile, counties and states around the country have filed lawsuits to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the public health crisis. “The United States is in…


Of All The Things About Enabling Trumpcare Republicans, Never, Ever Forget This…

“Lawmakers are exempt. Despite all of their rhetoric about the supposed failings of Obamacare, House Republicans inserted a provision on Tuesday that “exempts members of Congress and their staff from their latest healthcare plan,” Vox reported, meaning they will be able to opt out of the new amendment that charges more for people with pre-existing conditions.” – From “‘God Have Mercy on Your Souls’: GOP Passes Cruel, Destructive Trumpcare Bill”, Common Dreams (5/4/17)  


16th Richest Family In America: The Family Making Billions From The Opioid Epidemic

  Brasscheck TV (4/1/17) Deaths by opioid overdose have surpassed AIDS deaths at the peak of that epidemic. There’s one family that’s made billions from this disaster. The US news media has done a good job of keeping their names out of the news. But Brasscheck is not a member of the mainstream news media. Meet the Sackler family… Richard Sackler, 71, moves among elite circles of scientists, researchers, and investors and rarely speaks at public events. Even photographs of him are difficult to find. The Sackler family, in general, has avoided public discussion of OxyContin or the drug’s role…


The Forces Driving Middle-Aged White People’s ‘Deaths Of Despair’

  By Jessica Boddy NPR (3/23/17) In 2015, when researchers Ann Case and Angus Deaton discovered that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans, they weren’t sure why people were dying younger, reversing decades of longer life expectancy. Now the husband-and-wife economists say they have a better understanding of what’s causing these “deaths of despair” by suicide, drugs and alcohol. In a follow-up to their groundbreaking 2015 work, they say that a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites without college degrees has caused pain, distress and social dysfunction to build up over time. The…


Gee, Thanks! Insurance Companies Just Made The Case For Medicare For All!

By Daniel Marans The Huffington Post (3/9/17) America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group for commercial health insurance companies, published an infographic this month breaking down how the industry spends every dollar it receives in premiums. The group apparently crafted the visual aid to defend rising premiums its member companies are charging customers. But the chart also inadvertently helps explain why commercial health insurance is a bad deal. The graphic shows that about 80 percent of every premium dollar goes toward medical expenses ― prescription drugs, doctor visits, hospitalization and other services. Approximately 18 percent goes to administrative costs, and some 3…